I’m here to help you get published

Hello aspiring authors! I’m a former literary agent and in-house book editor, now a structural editor, writing mentor, copywriter, and the author of The Young Widow’s Book of Home Improvement and Girls at the Piano. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, I help writers get published from my home in Brooklyn, New York.

Services for writers

Mentoring — to find your story and the best way to tell it.

Reviewing your first ten or first 50 pages, your draft synopses and agent queries — to strengthen your appeal to a literary agent or traditional book publisher

Developing nonfiction book proposals — to save experts time

Constructive developmental / structural editing — to help your work reach a commercially publishable standard.

Why do my clients get agents and publishing contracts?

Because as a published author I know how hard it is – and how satisfying – to write a book and see it published. I understand the joys and agonies of rewriting.

Because as an experienced structural editor I can see ways to improve most manuscripts that the author, who is typically too close to their material, cannot.

Because as a former literary agent I know exactly how selective agents can afford to be, the reservations they’ll have about an author query email, the editorial weaknesses they’ll spot a mile off in an unsolicited manuscript submission, and the crucial information they need – and rarely receive – from unsolicited submissions.

My clients value my strong editorial background because I know what constitutes a manuscript of publishable quality.

Proof, please!

My portfolio sets out how I’ve helped my clients achieve their dream of getting published through agenting, agent research, structural edits, manuscript development, or nonfiction book proposals.

What am I like to work with? You can find some testimonials here.

“Your editorial advice was priceless.” — Brad Hutchins, author of Game Set Cash! (Black Inc, 2014)

Girls at the Piano, my second book, took me seven years, so I understand the joys and frustrations of the writing process. (I don’t recommend taking that long, but life happens and some books take as long as they take.)

“Virginia’s memoir mentoring was vital to the ultimate publication of my work. Her insights were helpful at every stage of the process – from big-picture thinking on narrative structure and focus, through to line-by-line editorial feedback at final draft. She is an expert editorial ‘curator’ and a godsend for a first-time author.” —Fiona Higgins, author, Fearless (2016), Wife on the Run (2014), The Mothers’ Group (2012; all through Allen & Unwin) and Love in the Age of Drought (Pan Macmillan, 2009)

Still reading?

Thank you! Some relevant extra details about my background:

  • A lifetime ago I completed a PhD in English Literature at the University of Sydney.
  • Moving into publishing, I worked as the in-house editor of the Picador list (fiction and nonfiction) at Pan Macmillan Australia.
  • Aside from writers I have also worked regularly with lawyers, which I explain on my LinkedIn profile.
  • I’m an amateur pianist (hence my second book, Girls at the Piano) and a contemporary jazz freak. For many years I was the Vice President of the Sydney Improvised Music Association.
  • I’ve always been a passionate volunteer with arts-related not-for-profit organizations. I grew up helping my father’s fundraising efforts for his local Rotary Club, and I guess that rubbed off on me. I am a Past President of Sydney PEN (International PEN Center) and a former Vice President of the Sydney Improvised Music Association.

PS I don’t bite

Please check out my services or get in touch, as I’d love to hear from you and help you if I can. I firmly believe there are No. Stupid. Questions.